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The Long View

The United States vs. France: contrasting two revolutions

The closeness in dates of the American and French national revolutionary celebrations, July 4, Independence Day in America, and July 14, Bastille Day in France, seems particularly relevant this year. For as long as the U.S. has been in existence, people have been trying to understand the similarities and differences between those revolutions. In studying the period for a while, a few points jump out at me. 

James Madison as applied to Donald Trump

History is written to understand the past but it is composed in the present and cannot escape that context. Sometimes, the relevance is startling. In research for a new book about the Revolutionary Era, I came across a James Madison essay that struck me as a trenchant critique of the Trumpian attitude toward governing the American people. It is a dialogue between a “republican,” by which Madison meant a person who championed the spirit of the American Revolution and democracy, and an “anti-republican,” who did not.

James Madison essay: On Donald Trump?

History is written to understand the past but it is composed in the present and cannot escape that context. Sometimes, the relevance is startling. In research for a new book about the Revolutionary Era, I came across a James Madison essay that struck me as a trenchant critique of the Trumpian attitude toward governing the American people. It is a dialogue between a “republican,” by which Madison meant a person who championed the spirit of the American Revolution and democracy, and an “anti-republican,” who did not.

The Newtown massacre: a communal tragedy

As with everyone else, I am horrified by the recent massacre of 20 children and eight adults in Newtown. No words can really ameliorate, and perhaps none can adequately explain such a communal tragedy, but the publisher has asked me to offer a few thoughts. I do so based on two different sets of special knowledge that I have accumulated. One comes from my years of working with the Amish, and the other, from collaborating on three books with the world’s leading expert on serial killers, Robert K. Ressler.

Newtown massacre: a communal tragedy

As with everyone else, I am horrified by the recent massacre of 20 children and eight adults in Newtown, Conn. No words can really ameliorate, and perhaps none can adequately explain such a communal tragedy, but the publisher has asked me to offer a few thoughts. I do so based on two different sets of special knowledge that I have accumulated. One comes from my years of working with the Amish, and the other, from collaborating on three books with the world’s leading expert on serial killers, Robert K. Ressler.

The Newtown massacre: a communal tragedy

The Long View

As with everyone else, I am horrified by the recent massacre of 20 children and eight adults in Newtown. No words can really ameliorate, and perhaps none can adequately explain such a communal tragedy, but the publisher has asked me to offer a few thoughts. I do so based on two different sets of special knowledge that I have accumulated. One comes from my years of working with the Amish, and the other, from collaborating on three books with the world’s leading expert on serial killers, Robert K. Ressler.

The ‘lite beer’ election: money’s corruptive influence

The Long View

Part 3

The ‘lite beer’ election: money

The Long View

Part 3

The ‘lite beer’ election: Infrastructures

The Long View

Part 2

In a previous column, I asserted that our choices in the forthcoming presidential election are not only too narrow, but that the parties and candidates are refusing to deal with the really difficult problems that confront us. Among them are three sets of crumbling infrastructure: the physical infrastructure of roads, rails, bridges and public facilities; the health care system; and the higher education system.

These problems did not arise overnight.

The ‘lite beer’ election: Infrastructures

The Long View

Part 2

In a previous column, I asserted that our choices in the forthcoming presidential election are not only too narrow, but that the parties and candidates are refusing to deal with the really difficult problems that confront us. Among them are three sets of crumbling infrastructure: the physical infrastructure of roads, rails, bridges and public facilities; the health care system; and the higher education system.

These problems did not arise overnight.